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    Kira Zschau enjoys career performance as sister looks on


    © St. Petersburg Times, published October 29, 2000

    Kira Zschau knew she had a good match but wasn't aware she had set two career highs.

    The University of Mississippi senior volleyball whiz, a Clearwater Central Catholic graduate, recorded 30 kills and 25 digs in a win over Winthrop University.

    "I had no idea until after that I had done that," said Zschau (pronounced Schow).

    "I know I'm playing smarter and am better focused this season," she said. "Plus, I've been working really hard."

    Last year, Zschau led Ole Miss in kills with 159 and digs with 213.

    "I've coached Kira her four years here and have seen her gain complete control of all her skills," said John Blair, in his 14th season at the school.

    "Everything is coming together, which is so good for her because she's worked hard to get there."

    Kira is the third of four Zschau sisters to play volleyball at the collegiate level.

    Her two older sisters, Kristen (Lakewood Christian/University of Tampa) and Kim (Clearwater Central Catholic/Kansas State University), have completed stellar careers.

    Kristen was a three-year starter at Tampa and named to the NCAA Division II All-South Team. Kim was a unanimous selection for the All-Big 12 Conference first team and is Kansas State's all-time leader in kills (1,623), digs (1,492) and total attacks (4,555). She played professionally in Spain last year and is pursuing a second season.

    This year, Kira is joined by her youngest sister, Karla (Clearwater Central Catholic), as one of two freshman recruits at Ole Miss.

    "Karla is making a transition from playing different positions in high school and on her club team," Blair said. "She definitely has the potential to be a dominant factor in our success."

    Karla, the 1999 Pinellas County Player of the Year, has had key roles as an outside hitter on the right and mid sides and is finding a home on the left, Blair said.

    "Volleyball is really a big deal here at the school," Karla said.

    "High school and college volleyball are totally different, but club volleyball prepared me more for what I'm experiencing now," she said. "I know I'll work as hard as I can to bring something to the team."

    Ole Miss has six conference matches remaining. Only the top eight of the 11 teams in the Southeastern Conference advance to the SEC Championships next month in Gainesville.

    MORE VOLLEYBALL: Florida Atlantic University sophomore Danyielle Smith (Seminole) is returning to action after suffering a mid-season injury.

    The outside hitter started as a freshman.

    Smith is expected to be ready when FAU (8-15, 4-3 in the TAAC) plays host to the Trans America Athletic Conference Tournament next month.

    Entering a weekend matchup with Virginia, Alex Sevillano (Clearwater) was Florida State's second leading player in kills with 297 and digs with 216.

    The sophomore is an outside hitter and defensive specialist for the Seminoles (16-9). CROSS COUNTRY: Erin Geisa (Northside Christian) contributed to Samford University's first women's team victory at the Tiger Invitational in Memphis, Tenn.

    The sophomore was among six Samford runners finishing in the top 12 overall. Geisa logged a time of 19:26.02 in the 5,000-meter race.

    Brian Timmons (CCC), a redshirt freshman at Samford, is working on his speed and endurance this season.

    FOOTBALL: Karl Bates (Seminole/Kentucky Wesleyan) returned to his college alma mater this fall to assume the defensive coordinator coaching position.

    Bates, an All-America selection in 1998, graduated last year after collecting 81 tackles and helping Kentucky Wesleyan to its best record, 7-4.

    Last spring, Bates was a backup tight end and defensive end with the Houston Thunderbears in the Arena Football League.

    Playing middle linebacker for Kentucky Wesleyan's Panthers this season is Frank Wintrich (Seminole), who has started each game and leads the team in tackles with 54.

    Bates' older brother, Paul (Seminole/Kentucky Wesleyan), left his college assistant coaching position at his alma mater to become the head coach at Apollo High School in Owensboro, Ky..

    Paul was an All-American and Academic All-America at Kentucky Wesleyan.

    Senior linebacker Brian Bokor (Shorecrest) and sophomore offensive lineman Jon Davis (Palm Harbor) are reserves for Davidson College.

    Brett Hayford (Shorecrest/Davidson), son of Shorecrest athletic director Phil Hayford, is in his eighth year as Davidson's defensive line and special teams coach under first-year head coach Joe Susan.

    Starting 20 consecutive games at left guard for the University of Illinois, junior Jay Kulaga (Seminole) has helped the Illini earn an average of 177 yards rushing and 225 passing.

    In a 49-13 win over San Diego State, the Illini offensive line, led by Kulaga, allowed no quarterback sacks.

    TENNIS: Texas senior All-American Janet Walker (Canterbury) reached the quarterfinal round of the Riviera Women's All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades, Calif., before the fifth seed fell to top-seeded Aarthi Venkatesan of Georgia.

    In consolation action, Walker advanced to the semifinals in singles. In doubles, Walker and partner Vladka Uhlirova of the Czech Republic reached the semis.

    BASKETBALL: Marshall Sanders (Dixie/Brevard CC) is expected to be the starting center for Kentucky Wesleyan when the Panthers begin the Great Lakes Valley Conference season.

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